In canine patients recovering from surgery for intervertebral disc disease, do passive range of motion exercises, compared to no intervention, lead to a shorter or faster rate of recovery?
Clinical bottom line
Category of research
Number and type of study designs reviewed
Five studies (two randomised controlled trials, two retrospective cohort studies and one retrospective case series) were critically appraised.
Strength of evidence
There is no evidence that passive range of motion (PROM) exercises are associated with a quicker postsurgical recovery in the canine intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) patient.
There is a lack of evidence about specific rehabilitation techniques for the postoperative canine IVDD patient. Based on the current data, a multimodal approach, including basic and intense rehabilitation techniques is suggested.
The application of evidence into practice should take into account multiple factors, not limited to: individual clinical expertise, patient’s circumstances and owners’ values, country, location or clinic where you work, the individual case in front of you, the availability of therapies and resources.
Knowledge Summaries are a resource to help reinforce or inform decision making. They do not override the responsibility or judgement of the practitioner to do what is best for the animal in their care.
Bennaim, M., Porato, M., Jarleton, A., Hamon, M., Carroll, J.D., Gommeren, K. & Balligand, M. (2017). Preliminary evaluation of the effects of photobiomodulation therapy and physical rehabilitation on early postoperative recovery of dogs undergoing hemilaminectomy for treatment of thoracolumbar intervertebral disk disease. American Journal of Veterinary Research. 78(2), 195–206. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2460/ajvr.78.2.195
Bruno, E., Canal, S., Antonucci, M., Bernardini, M., Balducci, F., Musella, V., Mussoni, M. & Spinella, G. (2020). Perilesional photobiomodulation therapy and physical rehabilitation in post-operative recovery of dogs surgically treated for thoracolumbar disk extrusion. BMC Veterinary Research. 16(120). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12917-020-02333-3
Elsevier Author Services. Levels of evidence in research. [online]. Available at: https://scientific-publishing.webshop.elsevier.com/research-process/levels-of-evidence-in-research/ [Accessed 27 August 2023].
Hayashi, A.M., Matera, J.M. & de Campos Fonseca Pinto, A.C.B. (2007). Evaluation of electroacupuncture treatment for thoracolumbar intervertebral disk disease in dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 231(6), 913–918. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2460/javma.231.6.913
Hodgson, M.M., Bevan, J.M., Evans, R.B. & Johnson, T.I. (2017). Influence of in-house rehabilitation on the postoperative outcome of dogs with intervertebral disk herniation. Veterinary Surgery. 46(4), 566–573. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/vsu.12635
Immekeppel, A., Rupp, S., Demierre, S., Rentmeister, K., Meyer-Lindenberg, A., Goessmann, J., Bali, M.S., Schmidli-Davies, F. & Forterre, F. (2021). Investigation of timing of surgery and other factors possibly influencing outcome in dogs with acute thoracolumbar disc extrusion: a retrospective study of 1501 cases. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavia. 63(30). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13028-021-00596-w
Jadeson, W.J. (1961). Rehabilitation of dogs with intervertebral disk lesions. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 138, 411–423.
Jeong, IS., Piao, Z., Rahman, M.M., Kim, S. & Kim, N.S. (2019). Canine thoracolumbar intervertebral disk herniation and rehabilitation therapy after surgical decompression: A retrospective study. Journal of Advanced Veterinary and Animal Research. 6(3), 394–402. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5455/javar.2019.f359
Moore, S.A., Early, P.J. & Hettlich, B.F. (2016). Practice patterns in the management of acute intervertebral disc herniation in dogs. Journal of Small Animal Practice. 57(8), 409–415. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jsap.12496
Olby, N.J., De Risio, L., Muñana, K.R., Wosar, M.A., Skeen, T.M., Sharp, N.J. & Keene, B.W. (2001). Development of a functional scoring system in dogs with acute spinal cord injuries. American Journal of Veterinary Research. 62(10), 1624–1628. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2460/ajvr.2001.62.1624
Olby, N.J., Moore, S.A., Brisson, B., Fenn, J., Flegel, T., Kortz, G., Lewis, M. & Tipold, A. (2022). ACVIM consensus statement on diagnosis and management of acute canine thoracolumbar intervertebral disc extrusion. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 36(5), 1570–1596. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jvim.16480
Ruddle, T.L., Allen, D.A., Schertel, E.R., Barnhart, M.D., Wilson, E.R., Lineberger, J.A., Klocke, N.W. & Lehenbauer, T.W. (2006). Outcome and prognostic factors in non-ambulatory Hansen type I intervertebral disc extrusions: 308 cases. Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumato 19(1), 29–34. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0038-1632970
Sikes, R. (1989). Postoperative management of the neurosurgical patient. Problems in Veterinary Medicine. 1(3), 467–477.
Stevens, S.L., Caputo, J.L., Fuller, D.K. & Morgan, D.W. (2008). Physical activity and quality of life in adults with spinal cord injury. Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine. 31(4), 373–378. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10790268.2008.11760739
Zidan, N., Sims, C., Fenn, J., Williams, K., Griffith, E., Early, P.J., Mariani, C.L., Munana, K.R., Guevar, J. & Olby, N.J. (2018). A randomized, blinded, prospective clinical trial of postoperative rehabilitation in dogs after surgical decompression of acute thoracolumbar intervertebral disc herniation. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 32(3), 1133–1144. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jvim.15086
Copyright (c) 2023 Alexander Wallace
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Veterinary Evidence uses the Creative Commons copyright Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. That means users are free to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format. Remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially - with the appropriate citation.